Jack Bates’ blueberries rely on “non-union” bees.
The Delta, British Columbia, farmer is not alone. Blueberries, raspberries, and tree fruits are some of BC’s most important crops, worth about $370 million combined—and they all depend on bees, butterflies, moths, and other pollinators for a successful harvest.
“Pollination is always a struggle,” said Bates, who owns a 90-acre blueberry farm.
That’s no surprise. Pollinators are in rough shape in British Columbia and beyond.
Blueberries are one of B.C.’s most important crops, worth in $161 million in 2018. Photo by Marc Fawcett-Atkinson.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature says that 16.5 per cent of vertebrate pollinators (e.g. birds) are threatened with global extinction.
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